Olly Lennard
Oliver Lennard no longer writes for the Huffington post and several of the views expressed here no longer represent him.

Entries by Olly Lennard

The Connection Between 'Star Trek' and 'Glee'

(0) Comments | Posted 19 September 2013 | (21:48)

The shady tribes of people who manufacture television reportedly bandy the word 'aspiration' around quite often. 'Aspirational programming' is a genre-spanning term defining shows typically featuring healthy, conventionally attractive people leading comfortable, fun happy lives. The hook is supposed to be that you will aspire to be like what you...

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Why David Cameron's Internet Censorship Is a Terrifying and Terrible Idea

(22) Comments | Posted 29 July 2013 | (00:00)

David Cameron's plan to introduce opt-out Internet censorship at service-provider level genuinely scares me. In an effort to crack down on child pornography and the number of children watching legal pornography, the PM has challenged service providers to automatically filter out porn and "sensitive subjects" unless customers specifically...

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A Cautionary Note About Justice and Twitter

(0) Comments | Posted 14 July 2013 | (09:13)

George Zimmerman has been found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Fact number one.

Fact numbers two and three: Trayvon Martin was black. The jury was made up of six people, five of them white.

Fact number four: Twitter is wringing its hands so...

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Secularism and Education: A Gordian Knot in a Pandora's Box

(2) Comments | Posted 4 July 2013 | (21:47)

I read Michael Gove's plans to increase Church of England control over some secular schools with a fair amount of alarm and wanted to seek some opinions on it, especially on this auspicious date of writing, the anniversary of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence which...

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Abortion: A Debate About Facts, Not Values

(0) Comments | Posted 3 July 2013 | (10:22)

Not too many hours ago a controversial chant was captured on video outside the Texas State Capitol building, whereupon it enjoyed a brief fluttering trend on Twitter before sinking back towards the "and finally" end of the news spectrum. Supporters on both sides of the abortion debate stationed themselves inside...

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No Longer on the Fence About Facebook and Rape

(0) Comments | Posted 28 May 2013 | (13:00)

Until recently I was paralyzed with indecision between two seemingly opposing viewpoints, both of which I hold dear.

A campaign spearheaded by Women, Action & the Media, Soraya Chemely and the sensational Everyday Sexism project (whose tweets are a thoroughly recommended eye-opener) is urging companies to remove their advertisements from...

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Woolwich, Murder and Justice

(0) Comments | Posted 23 May 2013 | (11:47)

There's blood in the streets. I wish I had the command of language necessary to come up with a less clichéd phrase, but it really is there and it's spreading like a dark stain across every newspaper and out of every television screen. And people are standing up and spitting...

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#Fitchthehomeless Plays Right Into the Company's Hands

(1) Comments | Posted 16 May 2013 | (10:59)

An intriguing movement is gathering steam online and in the streets of Los Angeles. Filmmaker Greg Karber was so incensed by Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries that he made a short film, part social-justice campaign and part sneaky trolling session. A&F has earned disapproving sneers for years...

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What is the Function of Praying for Victims?

(115) Comments | Posted 19 April 2013 | (09:15)

Twitter has displayed spiritual tendencies recently, with #prayforboston, #prayforiran and #prayfortexas all trending at one time or another. This is a fairly typical pattern after shocking events, but the exact function of praying for victims, and whether it is worthwhile, is unclear.

The ostensible answer is that prayer is a...

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Kim Jong-Un, George Orwell and a Big Rocket

(0) Comments | Posted 29 March 2013 | (13:45)

Fairly obviously, it isn't in North Korea's practical interests to go to war with the USA. Without the backing of either Russia or China (or both), it would be an unwinnable conflict, and neither of those countries' governments has been holding prominent 'death to the west' rallies of late. I'm...

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15 Facts You Didn't Know About Easter

(0) Comments | Posted 28 March 2013 | (21:15)

To get you in the Easter mood here's 15 unusual "facts" about the Passion and the first Easter.

1. When Jesus rose again the Roman authorities investigated it as a life insurance scam.

2. The only disciple who didn't see the risen Christ was Geoff "No-eyes" Alphaeus.

3. The Easter...

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The Royal Charter for the Regulation of the Press

(0) Comments | Posted 18 March 2013 | (14:33)

After much toing and froing a deal has finally been struck between the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party regarding press regulation. Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband's proposal has been scrapped, and both have claimed a substantial victory.

David Cameron has ignored the Leveson report, ignored the...

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Malone's Metamorphosis an Odd Change of Tone

(0) Comments | Posted 14 March 2013 | (21:10)

In a slight diversion from my usual bubblegum social commentary I want to review Metamorphosis: The Science of Change, the latest documentary from David Malone currently available on BBC iPlayer. In this standalone film Malone explores the science of alteration in nature, with the expected looks at the life cycles...

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Is the C-Word a Gendered Insult?

(0) Comments | Posted 27 February 2013 | (19:46)

The Onion's use of the c-word to describe nine year-old female actor Quvenzhané Wallis in a tweet on Oscars night sparked such a vituperative backlash that an official apology was issued. Much of the anger stemmed from the perception that the Onion couldn't have been joking, for example Edward Champion...

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Why the World Needs 4chan

(3) Comments | Posted 14 January 2013 | (09:48)

Following #CutforBieber there has been much tutting, shaking of heads, wringing of hands, rolling of eyes and wagging of fingers, indeed some have been engaged in a spasmodic full body angst workout.

If you missed it, #CutforBieber was a social media movement started by trolls (probably, though not definitely, on...

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What Does it Mean to Be an Atheist or Antitheist at Christmas?

(0) Comments | Posted 21 December 2012 | (11:31)

I attended my university carol service recently because Christmastime means examinations for students and I badly needed a revision break, and because the town cathedral provides free central heating. Afterwards I wondered what, if anything, I could take away from the service as somebody with no religious belief. (The spectre...

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